Monday, January 28, 2013

Deep brain stimulation to reverse dementia? Maybe not

In an attempt to reverse dementia researchers at the University of Toronto have tested a procedure called deep brain stimulation to help “jump start” the memory of people who have been affected by Alzheimer's disease. The brain robbing illness is growing in the United States, Canada, Australia and much of Europe. Many are hoping and looking for ways to reverse dementia. In attempting to solve the puzzle of Alzheimer's disease, drug-makers are using drugs targeting Amyloid plaques and they have been largely disappointed with the drug results.

Brain Stimulation?

Brain stimulation is not new, it has been used for many years by patients suffering form Parkinson’s disease. But what the Alzheimer's researchers are attempting to do in very simple terms is to have electrical impulses sent to very specific parts of the brain. It is being called a “brain pacemaker” as the tiny electrodes will deliver electrical pulses around the brain memory circuit. What they focuses on was glucose, the researchers observed roughly a 15 to 20 percent increase in glucose metabolism after one year of continuous stimulation. Glucose metabolism usually decreases in Alzheimer's disease. While interesting a 15% increase in glucose can be achieved with a very, very specific Alzheimer's diet. In addition patients also must have two small holes drilled into their skulls to have the the electrodes implanted, the side effects from those who have had the procedure for Parkinson’s disease has been seizures, bleeding, speech difficult and even suicide.

Not a lobotomy?

Although Deep brain stimulation is not a lobotomy it does parallel a lobotomy  in some respects in that researchers want to go “into the brain” to fix your problem. As late as the 1960's people had horrible lobotomies ( brain surgery to remove schizophrenia and other mental illness, these practices are now outlawed) Mal Alzheimer's 100% rejects deep brain stimulation because studies have shown that the brain can heal with a very, very specific diet. When the brain is put in the right environment for healing it can do amazing things. The Toronto researchers tested an incredibly small number of people (only). The stimulation did effect glucose but this in no way can be said to be a way to reverse dementia. We do not believe anyone should have to go into the brain to stop Alzheimer's disease.  


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